Hungary Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Hungary (Geography)

Most of Hungary is lowland; as much as 84 per cent lie lower than 200 m above sea level; just 2 percent is higher than 400 m.

The lowlands, formed by the Carpathian Basin, consist of the plains Hungarian Plain (Alföld) in eastern and southeastern Hungary and Kisalföld in the northwest. Geologically, the plains are formed by decomposition material from the surrounding mountains deposited in the shallow Pannonian Basin that formed after a landslide in the Tertiary. Southwestern Hungary, Transdanubia, is slightly hilly. Only northern Hungary is mountainous; here the highest peak in the Mátra Mountains reaches 1015 m, the highest point in the country. The three types of landscape meet in the Danube region, ie. where the Danube (Hungarian Duna) makes a sharp turn north of Budapestand then forms the border with Slovakia. 417 km of the Danube runs through Hungary and together with Tisza (579 km) and a network of canals form important arteries in the country’s transport system. The mountains in the west consist of granite, the Bükk mountains of limestone, while the Mátra mountains are of volcanic origin. Hungary is still characterized by volcanic activity; thus, 500 mineral springs have been found, which are often used for spa and open-air baths. In addition, there are about 1200 lakes, of which the 595 km2 large Balaton is Central Europe’s largest.

Until the middle of the 19th century, the large, fertile loess and sand plains were mainly used for grazing sheep and cattle, but the puszta or the prairie of Hungary, as the areas are also known, is now largely drained and cultivated. Parts of the original puszta are preserved in the nature parks Hortobágy and Bugac, which together with other protected nature areas constitute important breeding and resting places for waterfowl and waders.


Hungary has a temperate mainland climate. The Hungarian Plain has the greatest extremes; the winter is cold and windy, while the summer is dry, hot and with frequent thunderstorms. The Budapest area has a rainy spring, an average temperature for July of 21.7 °C and for January of −1.2 °C as well as an annual rainfall of 560 mm. The sun shines 1900-2500 hours a year, which is among the highest number of hours of sunshine in Europe.


Of the approximately 10 mio. residents live approximately 65 percent in big cities, of which 1.7 million. alone in Budapest. The country, which is administratively divided into 19 roughly equal “counties” and Budapest, has an average population density of 105 residents per capita. km2. Pga. emigration and a greater mortality rate than birth frequency, the population is slightly declining. approximately 5 mio. ethnic Hungarians live outside the country’s borders; most have ended up outside the country as a result of the land relinquishments under the Treaty of Trianon after World War I., others fled during the uprising in 1956. There are ethnic minorities, especially in the border areas. The largest are Roma, some of whom are still poorly integrated into society despite legal rights. According to the 1990 census, the number of Roma is approximately 142,000, most of whom live in the northeastern part of the country. In addition, there are approximately 31,000 Germans.

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Economic liberalization began earlier in Hungary than in the other Eastern European countries, but the transition was not painless and was followed by inflation, unemployment and high taxes. Loss of the large, secure market in the former Soviet Union has required the conquest of new markets. But despite this, conditions are better in Hungary than in the other former eastern countries. Inflation has fallen drastically and foreign investment is rising; Among other things, A number of multinational car and electronics companies have established production in Hungary. Despite a slow start in the privatization process, 80 percent of the country’s former state-owned enterprises have been privatized. 80 percent of the country’s exports go to the EU (2005).

The industry is concentrated in Budapest and the larger cities such as Miskolc and Debrecen with the production of machinery, cars, buses, trains and textiles. Likewise, there is a significant chemical and pharmaceutical industry as well as food manufacturing. Industrial production contributes approximately 27 percent to the country’s GDP, and approximately 45 percent of production is exported; exports of machinery and technical equipment are rising sharply. Mining is declining and takes place mainly in the Mecsek Mountains in southern Hungary (coal, uranium), the Vértes Mountains north of Budapest (lignite for the production of cement and aluminum) and the Bakony Mountains north of Balaton (bauxite, manganese, lignite).

Agriculture contributes 4 percent to GDP, and more and more farms are becoming private; in 2000, 55 percent are private, approximately 20 percent cooperatives, and the rest are run by production companies. Corn and wheat, sunflowers, vegetables, sugar beets, tobacco and wine, as well as fruits such as apples and apricots are among the most important crops, which together account for half the value of production; in addition, the cultivation of Spanish pepper in the southeastern parts of the country. The animal production is mainly based on cattle, pigs and poultry. Forestry is of increasing importance, as a result of new plantings; around 2000 is approximately 20 percent of the land is forested, of which 70 percent is utilized. approximately 37 million tourists visit Hungary annually. Budapest attracts the majority, then Lake Balaton. For culture and traditions of Hungary, please check aparentingblog.


Today, river and canal transport make up only 4 per cent and have constantly lost importance in relation to transport by rail and especially on roads, where 50 per cent of freight transport takes place. Hungary has been hit by the wars in the former Yugoslavia, because the Danube was blocked until 2000. The railway network is well developed with almost 7900 km of tracks and has approximately 1/3of the country’s freight traffic. The road network is being expanded, and efforts are being made to make the relatively less developed areas (outside Budapest and northwestern Hungary) more efficiently connected. The country has 581 km of motorways, and a tripling is planned for the coming years, especially with connections to Romania, Ukraine and Croatia. Budapest is the country’s transport hub, and all air traffic passes through Ferihegy International Airport; there is no domestic air traffic.


approximately half of the country’s energy supply is imported, mainly from neighboring countries to the east. 7.5 percent of energy consumption is covered by coal and lignite; most of them are covered by natural gas, oil and by nuclear power produced at the power plant in Paks. The widespread use of coal and lignite, as well as Soviet-era production equipment and Soviet military remnants, have led to significant pollution, and large sums are being invested in combating it. For example, total energy consumption has fallen in the last decade as a result of the closure of a number of heavy, energy-intensive industries. The country is increasingly supplied with natural gas, which is imported from Russia, and today is 3.5 million. households connected to the gas network.

Hungary Geography